Northwest Prep Charter School at Piner Olivet: Santa Rosa

Northwest Prep is a public charter middle and high school that offers Ag/Science and Sustainability as an elective for all students as part of the Agricultural Science and Health Careers programs. Approximately twenty students meet each day for almost two hours. Students learn about all aspects of agricultural science and food systems including: garden development, nutrition education, and cooking from the garden. In addition to some fruit trees, students grow a variety of herbs, flowers and vegetables in the hoop house and raised beds, which they eat, give away to students/families and sell at their farmers market.

The SGN Cooking From the Garden grant (2008-2009) was used to purchase cooking equipment as well as supplemental produce through the CSA at Laguna Farm. Another grant from Slow Foods and OXO supplied additional cooking equipment and garden tools. Previously, equipment was borrowed from staff, or meals were cooked on a camp stove in the garden or classroom. Now, with the use of Piner Olivet School’s industrial kitchen, the program is fully functioning – even with canning capabilities. Students cook meals for the class or for the entire school (on salad day, pasta day or salsa day). This program has fulfilled its vision for students to create healthy habits as they prepare meals for students, staff and the community with fresh, local food.

Northwest Prep has also received a Garden-Based Education grant to support their school garden for 2011-2012.